Crime & Public Safety

Bluffton restaurant robbed at gunpoint then broken into days later. Police search for suspects

Police are searching for suspects involved in two separate crimes —an armed robbery and break-in — that occurred within a week of each other at a popular Bluffton restaurant earlier this month.

An employee with Jim ‘N Nick’s Community Bar-B-Q was leaving the restaurant for the night about 1 a.m. on July 4 when a man forced her back into the building and robbed her at gunpoint, according to a Bluffton Police Department news release.

In the release, the suspect was described as a 6-foot-tall male wearing a black ski mask, black pants, and “an additional item over his face.”

About 2 a.m. on July 10, another suspect broke a window at the restaurant, took a few steps inside, then ran away after an alarm went off, the release said.

Police are unsure whether the same person committed both crimes or if there are multiple suspects, according to the release. The suspect in both videos appears to be a male.

The restaurant, on Fording Island Road near Simmonsville Road, is surrounded by a number of other businesses and restaurants. No similar incidents have been reported at any of the nearby businesses, Bluffton Police spokesperson Capt. Joe Babkiewicz said Friday.

Anyone with information can call the Bluffton Police investigations tip line at 843-706-4560 or the dispatch center at 843-524-2777, or Crimestoppers of the Lowcountry at 843-554-1111.

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Lana Ferguson has reported on a smorgasbord of news for The Island Packet & Beaufort Gazette since June 2018. Before coming to the Lowcountry, she worked for publications in her home state of Virginia and graduated from the University of Mississippi, where she was editor of the college’s daily newspaper.
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